Adam Stower gives a marvellous interview in Illustrators Magazine, a quarterly magazine featuring some of the best names in the illustration world. Illustrators Magazine shows the diversity of subcultures within illustration, and in this issue Adam is along side other fantastic artists such as Tara McPherson and Maurice Leloir.
Here are some extracts from Adam.
“…I have always felt very comfortable drawing. Like any creative pursuit, the hard part is putting in the hours of practice, but if you love the activity of drawing then that hard work becomes a pleasure. I draw as often as I can, whether from life or my imagination. I like to experiment too. There is always more to learn.”
Some of his earliest influences include “… In the Night Garden by Maurice Sendak, ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ by Tomi Ungerer and ‘Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor’ by Mervyn Peake to name but a few. I can see elements in my work that echo those books, even now. It always amazes me how powerful our first experiences of books can be, and I try to keep that in mind when I make my own picture books. At college I discovered all the classic book illustrators who were very influential for me including Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, Heath Robinson etc. Then there was Ronald Searle, Heinrich Kley, Windsor McCay, early Disney…The list goes on.”
In answer to the question, did you always have a strong sense of the work you wanted to do? Adam says, “During my time working for educational publishing, the jobs I enjoyed most were for fiction. It was clear to me that narrative illustration was the area I found most compelling and rewarding. I knew that ultimately I wanted to write and illustrate my own picture books as an art form, and the challenge of telling stories through the balance of words and pictures. I am happy to say that almost all of what I do now is for picture books and children’s fiction.”